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Antelope Valley soccer coach accused of molesting boys

August 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A longtime Antelope Valley youth soccer coach is facing charges of child sex abuse and molestation. Because he's had access to young children for over a decade, investigators fear there could be more victims.

Renoir Valenti, 50, is accused of using his position to befriend young boys.

The accusations came to light in July after the mother of a 9-year-old said her son had been molested. The alleged molest was not related to Valenti being a soccer coach. Then two other boys under the age of 15, who were soccer players, came forward saying they were victimized.

According to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, one incident happened at the suspect's home, while other incidents happened at various recreational areas.

"We're talking about some pretty egregious behavior with one of the victims," Hudson said. "The other children, it was just inappropriate touching, inappropriate talk."

The Lancaster resident was arrested at his house on Aug. 6 and is being held on $1 million bail. He has been charged with two counts of felony sex abuse of a child and two counts of annoying or molesting a child. Valenti is scheduled to appear in court on Monday at Antelope Valley Court.

Danny Elizalde, who lives next door to Valenti, said he suspected something was up because there were always so many kids at his house.

"A lot of kids just over his house, and they'll tell me they sleep over, play Xbox, majority of the time, kids are always over at his house," Elizalde said.

The sheriff's department is asking for help in identifying any other possible victims. Authorities say Valenti has been an American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) coach and referee for over 16 years in the Antelope Valley, and has coached teams that included boys ages 9 to 14.

Anyone with information is urged to call the L.A. County Sheriff's Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.


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